The Lives Of Prison Guards By Ted Conover

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Introduction Journalist, Ted Conover expresses an interest in writing a book about the lives of prison guards by proposing to the New York Department of Correctional Services to interview corrections officers, but his access is denied. He then decides to immerse himself into the culture and apply for a correctional officer position. After a brief training, Conover is randomly assigned to Sing Sing as a “newjack” or a rookie, to one of the most infamous maximum security male prisons in the United States. He meets other officers with goals of becoming involved in law enforcement; ex-military looking for a demanding, disciplined and tactical position; and those who just need a steady job with dependable benefits for their families. Some of these individuals are frantic enough to commute hours on end to make a living wage. The regular routine of the prison from an officer’s point of view consists of locking and unlocking cells, moving prisoners from cells to showers to mess halls, and physically inspecting units to ensure the health, welfare and safety of the prison as a whole. However, solidarity throughout the prison is non-existent – especially vital when officers are heavily outnumbered by criminals. Commands from officers are denied by prisoners, as well as other officers – communication is limited and teamwork by guards is nonexistent. Conover argues that his training is inadequate and could not have prepared him for the reality within prison walls. “You feel it
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